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Rutgers history says don’t give up on Gavin Wimsatt

Fans shouldn’t give up on the talented signal caller.



Photo credit Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Gavin Wimsatt has now started 12 games in his Rutgers career. While he’s had mixed results and struggles with accuracy, the redshirt sophomore has made progress this season. He made a critical mistake

In fact, Wimsatt can reasonably be considered a middle tier Big Ten quarterback this season. In the league, he’s 5th in QBR rating and eighth in Pro Football Focus grading.

There are areas Wimsatt must improve. However, I also think offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca is still learning how to best utilize Wimsatt. Putting him in passing situations without the ability to mix the play calls up has been a challenge at times. Having Wimsatt take more shots with his legs should be a point of emphasis as well.

If you look at Rutgers history, the best two quarterbacks of the past 15 years were Mike Teel and Gary Nova. Both struggled in their first two seasons at RU.

Teel, who I think is the best QB in program history, threw just 2 touchdowns and 10 interceptions his freshman year on just 102 pass attempts. As a sophomore, Teel has 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in the glorious 2006 season. His last two seasons, Teel became a prolific passer throwing for 3000+ yards and 20+ touchdowns both years.

Nova had 16 interceptions as a sophomore and struggled mightily in the bowl game loss to Virginia Tech. However, his senior season was tremendous. He led Rutgers to 8 wins and had the third highest quarterback rating in the Big Ten.

Rutgers stayed the course with both quarterbacks and they ultimately produced at a high level. One quarterback that wasn’t given that opportunity, Tom Savage, left and achieved at a high level somewhere else.

Asked in his game week presser how Wimsatt has responded to adversity this season, Schiano noted a clear difference.

“Much better. I think that isn’t just, though — I think everybody likes to make that an emotional thing. I think it’s that he knows he’s trained, and he knows he’s put the time in,” Schiano said. “When those plays happen, all right, they made one. As I always say to them, they are on scholarship, too, guys. You know, those coaches get paid as well. They are not a volunteer team with a bunch of volunteer coaches. That’s a Big Ten program, and they are going to make some plays. As long as you’re trained and you believe and you trust your training, I think that gives him confidence to say, well, they got one; I’m getting the next one. And he did. He came back, and as I told him when he came off, I always ask him, “What did you see,” because I want to know what he thought. And then I said, “Well, let’s keep gunning, Man. Second half, let’s go.”

Rutgers fans should keep their faith in Wimsatt and his continued development. I discuss this in detail on Wednesday’s episode of The Scarlet Faithful podcast.

Listen and watch below.



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  1. thevinman

    October 11, 2023 at 10:45 pm

    I sure as hell haven’t given up on Gavin. He is indeed playing better than both Teel and Nova early in their careers. Did you have to remind me of that Virginia Tech bowl game? I went to that game and it was agonizing to be there.

  2. Henry Rutgers

    October 12, 2023 at 9:47 am

    No reason to give up on Wimsatt…yet. In fact, I was thrilled that the staff made the announcement he was the starter instead of the usual silliness of keeping it a mystery until the first snap.

    I’m with you on Mike Teel being the best we’ve had. I remember the coach pulling him once or twice in the early years. Nova, on the other hand, I think was color blind and probably holds the distinction of the most interceptions thrown by any RU QB. Maybe, maybe not, but I sat through all those games and not only was he intercepted but the interceptions always seemed to come at the worst possible moment in the game. Statistically, he may have been good, but my own opinion was that Dodd was a more inspirational leader and gave us a better chance to win.

    The VT bowl game was the epitome of Coach Schiano. The game was lost in, guess what, drum roll and suspense please, yes, you got it, a lackluster 3Q with no adjustments while VT came out and took control of the game. I just don’t get our third quarter weakness. Do our coaches use the time for long bathroom breaks? My prediction for the MSU game is that it will be decided in the 3Q. Maybe we’ll break the 3Q jinx this weekend.

  3. BataliBoli98

    October 12, 2023 at 10:39 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Aaron’s point about more talent surrounding guys like Teel and Nova is very significant. While this receiving unit is certainly improved, there is still little separation. I also appreciate Aaron’s point about so many passes being to the sidelines. Quicker looks and Gavin taking off more often is what I’d like to see moving forward. Go RU!

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